FLSA Frequently Asked Questions

The following are based on the Department of Labor updated regulations for the Fair Labor Acts announced in May, 2016. A temporary injunction granted in November, 2016 will block the implementation of changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which were to become effective December 1, 2016.  The University suspended implementing any FLSA-related changes, including nonexempt employee reclassifications.

GENERAL

  1. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal wage and hour law administered by the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL). It impacts employees in both private and public sectors by establishing minimum wage, overtime pay, and other wage and hour regulations. Employees are either exempt or non-exempt from the FLSA regulations.

  2. Exempt employees are excluded from the overtime requirements. Non-exempt employees are paid overtime for time worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek. For an employee to be classified as exempt, he/she must meet the following three tests:

    • Salary Basis Test: An employee must receive a predetermined, fixed salary that is not subject to reduction due to variations in quality or quantity of work performed;
    • Minimum Salary Test: An employee must be paid a salary minimum that is currently $23,660 per year ($455 per week); and
    • Duties Test: An employee must qualify as an executive, administrative, professional, or computer professional (as specifically defined by the FLSA)
  3. (updated 8/16/16)

    The most significant change to the regulations is the minimum salary threshold, one factor in determining who gets paid overtime. The new annual salary threshold is set at $47,476, or $913/week, an increase from the current $23,660 or $455/week. Under law, employees paid less than $47,476 per year are non-exempt.

  4. (updated 8/16/16)

    Employees who fall below the new salary threshold will become Salaried Non-Exempt. Those below the $47,476 threshold will continue to be treated as salaried employees, but will also be eligible for Overtime pay for hours worked over 40 each week.  This includes part-time employees, who are currently exempt, who will earn less than the new threshold.

  5. Benefits are not included in the salary threshold.

  6. No. Although the final rule was published in May, the changes will not go into effect until December 1, 2016.

  7. As stated, the DOL has given employers until December 1, 2016, to comply with the new regulations. Purdue will implement new processes prior to December 1.  A high-level implementation schedule is available.

  8. No. Changing an employee's status from exempt to non-exempt is not a demotion. It is simply a difference in the timekeeping and payroll process.

  9. Over the summer, HR will work with colleges/units to determine which employees are affected by these changes. Employees and their supervisors will be notified in early fall. Comprehensive training on time tracking requirements, what constitutes compensable time, overtime requirements for travel, flexible scheduling, remote work, etc., will be provided to all impacted staff and supervisors.

  10. You will not be personally impacted by the changes in FLSA regulations. The changes will only impact employees who are currently exempt, not required to track work hours and not eligible for overtime pay.

  11. Yes. Under the FLSA, employees are not subject to the salary minimum if their primary duty is teaching, tutoring, instructing, or lecturing, and if they are employed and engaged in this activity as a teacher in an educational establishment (i.e., Purdue University).

  12. (new 8/16/16)

    HR has created an email address for questions: flsahelp@purdue.edu


TRANSITION
  1. (new 8/16/16)

    No. The term “non-exempt” simply means that the individual holding the position is eligible for overtime. There are many non-exempt jobs that have professional responsibilities at Purdue. The designation of exempt or non-exempt is a legal designation and does not impact the type or importance of an employee's work.

  2. No, there will be no change in how often you receive your pay. Salaried Non-Exempt employees will continue to be paid monthly.

  3. No. Employees must satisfy both the duties requirement and the minimum salary requirement in order to receive the exempt classification. However, if your position meets the duties test for exemption, but your salary is below $913/week you will be classified Salaried Non-Exempt.

  4. No. The exemption criteria are federal law. An employee and employer cannot agree to waive any of the law’s requirements.

  5. The salary minimum is not prorated for part-time work. For example, an employee with an 80% CUL appointment and annualized salary of $50,000 (over the new salary minimum) is actually paid $40,000. This position would be non-exempt due to falling below the new minimum salary requirement.

  6. We will provide training for employees whose positions are converted from exempt to non-exempt, along with their supervisors, on changes in procedure for timekeeping, pay schedule, flexible working hours, overtime, etc.

  7. (new 8/16/16)

    Yes. Salaried Non-Exempt employees must account for the hours of their travel time and for the hours of conference attendance, but there is no prohibition on traveling or professional development.


BENEFITS

  1. No. This regulatory change will not change an employee’s leave accrual or retirement plan participation.

  2. No. Leave accrual rates and retirement plan eligibility are determined by the university and are not subject to FLSA regulations.


TIMEKEEPING
  1. (new 8/16/16)

    The FLSA includes a recordkeeping requirement for non-exempt employees. Accordingly, non-exempt employees must maintain accurate records of all time worked.

  2. (new 8/16/16)

    Time spent eating lunch will not count as time worked if the meal time is greater than 20 minutes and no work is performed. Lunch breaks of less than 20 minutes or spent performing work should be considered compensable time.

  3. Yes. This is one method to effectively manage work time and the department budget.

  4. No. All non-exempt employees are compensated for all hours actually worked.

  5. Salaried Non-Exempt employees can make arrangements and obtain approval from their supervisor to work from home, to check messages at night or to change their daily schedules to different hours. However, all time worked must be accounted for and recorded as time worked. All overtime and any alternative work arrangements must be approved in advance by the employee’s direct supervisor.

  6. (new 8/16/16)

    Non-exempt employees are paid for all hours worked. Each department will communicate rules and expectations, including meal breaks and work outside normal business hours. Supervisors are responsible for monitoring work time.

  7. (new 8/16/16)

    Not at this time; KRONOS is configured to track time for employees paid on a bi-weekly basis. Salaried Non-Exempt employees will continue to be paid on a monthly basis.

FLSA overview from Human Resources

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